Steamboat Springs Michelle Bales
Routt County Sheriff John Warner said Thursday he believes the investigation into the murder of Steamboat Springs resident Lori Bases is proceeding as it should toward the arrest of a suspect.
Warner said the public needs to be patient as Steamboat Springs police work their way cautiously and thoroughly through interviews, paperwork and evidence collection.
"I can safely say they have their hands around a potential suspect or suspects and I'm comfortable with that," Warner said. "The police department is right where they need to be."
Bases' step-father, Bob Mesecher of Steamboat Springs, also said he's satisfied with the police department's investigation.
"We believe the police are actively going after this. They give me the comfort level that they're busting their tails," Mesecher said. "They don't tell me everything, but I'm positive things are happening."
The man Bases called Daddy since she was 10 years old said he didn't want to comment further on the murder for fear of jeopardizing the case.
Warner, who returned to town this week after a three-month session at the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy, said he has been briefed on the case and believes police are on track.
"It's not like watching 'Homicide' on TV. To present a quality case to the district attorney takes time," Warner said. "We don't have some raging lunatic out there who will victimize someone else."
If there's not a homicidal maniac on the loose in Steamboat, another option would be that Bases knew her attacker and perhaps was killed for a specific reason.
Among the 100 people officials estimate they've interviewed is an ex-boyfriend of Bases with a history of domestic violence. Jeff Schwartz lived in Steamboat for approximately nine years before moving to Florida.
Schwartz was arrested twice in Steamboat on suspicion of domestic violence in connection with another woman. He pleaded guilty to one charge in 1999 and was found not guilty of assault at a jury trial he was present at in Steamboat Springs on May 11, the day Bases was killed.
Repeated calls to Schwartz's last known address in North Palm Beach, Fla., went unanswered.
Police Chief J.D. Hays said Schwartz was interviewed soon after the murder and released. Hays said Schwartz's attorney has prevented officials from talking to him a second time, which Hays said is not uncommon.
"It's not fair to single anyone out as a suspect," Hays said. "We're talking to a lot of people."
Bases, 31, was found dead in her apartment on Steamboat Boulevard early in the morning of May 12. She had been stabbed multiple times.
To reach Michelle Bales call 871-4208 or e-mail email@example.com